By DONALD WITTKOWSKICompletion of the Ocean City Housing Authority’s nearly $7 million affordable housing project for senior citizens may be delayed by about a month because of “one hiccup” blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic.The company that will install the elevators in the three-story building has indicated that the pandemic is slowing down production at its factory and that could cause a delay with its work in Ocean City, the housing authority reported at its monthly board meeting Tuesday.“The one hiccup that we’ve run across, which is not surprising, is the elevator company,” said board member Scott Halliday, who serves as vice chairman of the housing authority and heads its redevelopment committee.Schindler Elevator Corp. was originally supposed to begin working at the site in late February or early March, but now says it may not start until late April due to COVID-related delays, Halliday said.The authority has been targeting May 1 as the $6.9 million project’s completion date, but a delay with the elevator work may push it back to early June, Halliday said. However, the authority has not yet given up on having it finished by May, he pointed out.“We’re still pushing for the May completion date. We’re trying to tighten that up as much as possible,” he told the board members during a Zoom meeting.Called Speitel Commons, the 32-unit project is being built next to the authority’s Bayview Manor housing complex at Sixth Street and West Avenue. The building is named in honor of the late Edmond C. Speitel Sr., a housing authority commissioner who helped to oversee the project from the conceptual phase.Senior citizens who now live in the authority’s flood-prone Pecks Beach Village housing complex on Fourth Street will be moved over to the Speitel Commons building when it is completed.While updating the board on the progress of the project, Halliday said all other construction work is rolling along smoothly under the supervision of the general contractor, Gary F. Gardner Inc. of Medford, N.J.“The contractor is doing a very good job staying on schedule,” he said.He added, “All other components of the project are moving along nicely.”Construction crews perform work on the building’s exterior.So far, the housing authority and the contractors have worked together to reduce the overall cost of the project by nearly $62,000.Not wanting to fall behind, the authority plans to have its team of consultants or the general contractor negotiate with the Schindler elevator company to try to avoid any delays.“We’ve given our team encouragement to go forward with negotiations with them as hard as possible or to get the contractor to negotiate as hard as possible,” Halliday said.In his full-time profession, Halliday is a home builder and general contractor, giving him expertise in the construction industry.Halliday stressed that it will be important to stay on top of the elevator company to avoid construction delays if possible.“They’re blaming COVID. I just think we need to stay on them to perform,” Halliday said in an interview after the board meeting.City Council President Bob Barr, who serves as the housing authority’s chairman, said that he has “some” concerns about the project being slightly delayed.“But hopefully we can work with them on that,” Barr said of negotiations with Schindler to try to keep the elevator work on schedule.The senior citizens portion of Pecks Beach Village, located on the north side of Fourth Street, will be torn down when Speitel Commons is finished. The housing authority has set aside $200,000 for demolition work on the flood-prone site.Pecks Beach Village also includes affordable housing for low-income families. The 40 family units are located on the south side of Fourth Street. The family units will stay for the time being, although there are longer-range plans to replace them with new housing construction.Funding for the project is coming from the city and the New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency.In 2019, City Council approved a $6.6 million bond ordinance to build or rehabilitate affordable housing sites for senior citizens and low-income families. The projects will help Ocean City meet its state-mandated obligation to provide its “fair share” of affordable housing as part of a court settlement in 2018.The city is expected to contribute more than $2 million toward the Speitel Commons project, while the New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency is providing $4.5 million in funding.The Ocean City Housing Authority provides affordable housing for senior citizens, families and the disabled. Ocean City residents, the elderly and people with disabilities are given preference for the authority’s housing.At Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved a change in the authority’s occupancy and admissions policies that will add military veterans to the group of people given preference on the waiting list for housing.“It just gives them an extra leg up on the waiting list,” said Jacqueline Jones, the authority’s executive director.However, there are currently no openings on the waiting list, so the authority is not accepting applications from veterans at this time, Barr said. The authority anticipates that there will be openings later in the year, he added.Also at the meeting, the board approved a $10,000 bonus to Jones and her staff to recognize their work in overseeing the authority’s development projects as well as the agency’s financial turnaround.The agency was reeling from shaky finances after an embezzlement scandal in 2017 involving its former executive director. After Jones took over as the new executive director, the authority became debt free and profitable. Jones and her staff also put the authority in position to launch the Speitel Commons project.The $10,000 bonus calls for Jones to receive $5,000 and her staff $5,000. Barr and Halliday, as the senior members of the board, recommended the bonus.“This is kudos to Jackie and her team. We thank them for all they do,” Barr said.Halliday said the bonus acknowledges the “extraordinary work” Jones and her staff have done on the authority’s development projects.On behalf of her staff, Jones thanked the board members and expressed her appreciation for the bonus. The Ocean City Housing Authority’s new building for senior citizens overlooks West Avenue at the corner of Sixth Street.
If you think your right to a BBQ should be set in stone, 429 Brisbane Corso, Yeronga, may be the home for you.Aussies go to the polls today and while the thought of numbering every box may be enough to make your stomach churn, the humble democracy sausage always gets the popular vote.But if you would prefer to toast your right to tick or flick a politician over a beer and a snag in the privacy of your own home, with not a single pollster in sight, then these outdoor kitchens should be enough to fire up the most cynical voter. MORE:Interest rate to drop to 0.75 per cent Classic feel at 3 Belgrade Place, Carindale.First up is 3 Belgrave Place at Carindale, a sprawling luxury house with five bedrooms on a 800sq m block.It has two kitchens that are perfect for cooking up a banger — an indoor one with a huge bench, a breakfast bar and a suite of luxury appliances and an outdoor one that perfectly suits the Queensland climate (and we are not talking about the state of the polls).More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoOverlooking the pool, this entertaining space has plenty of space to lounge around after you embrace your democratic right to feast on a frankfurter.Listed with Nick Foster of Ray White Carina, the property is for sale by negotiation. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK 429 Brisbane Corso, Yeronga, was built for entertaining.But if you feel your right to barbecue should be written in the Constitution, then of corso you should check out 429 Brisbane Corso at Yeronga.Dad jokes aside, this architecturally-designed house has six bedrooms and is on a 1019sq m riverfront block. Spread over three levels, this house has three kitchens including a formal kitchen finished with granite benchtops and plenty of cabinetry storage. A walk-in pantry leads in to a second chef’s kitchen with commercial-grade, Liebherr and Gaggenau appliances and a full, stainless-steel cooking station with a servery. Outside there is a wraparound terrace with a built-in, outdoor kitchen, perfect for entertaining friends, family and fellow pundits. It is listed for sale with Sarah Hackett of Place Bulimba. Loads of room for a party at 18 Gordon St, Hendra.In Hendra, Ray White Ascot agent Leigh Kortlang is making her pitch for 18 Gordon St — a four bedroom “entertainer’s delight” on a 405sq m block.Spread over two levels, the updated house has an indoor kitchen with stainless-steel appliances and a five-burner gas cooktop and an outdoor kitchen with an Apollo Premium barbecue, sink, fridge, dishwasher and storage overlooking the pool, spa and poolside retreat. It is also listed for sale. MORE: Buy a house, get a free holiday MORE: Heading for the hills
TOPP XX will seek to move atop the points standings when they take on Silver Shattas in the first game of a triple-header card when the NAMILCO-sponsored Under-17 Upper Demerara football Association (UDFA)-organised championship resumes at the Wisburg Secondary School ground.Topp XX currently are in second position with ten points after winning three, drawing one and losing one in the eight-team competition. Shattas are just above Hi Stars with two points from four outings so far with 2 draws and 2 losses.That game is at 13:00hrs and will be followed by Amelia’s Ward Panthers facing Botofago. The Botofago are on five points from one win and two losses while the Panthers are on three points from three draws and one win.Their clash at 14:30hrs will be followed by the final game of this week’s clashes when at 16.00hrs Milerock and Net Rockers collide.Milerock are on 3 points from two wins and a draw, having been unbeaten so far, while their opponents Net Rockers have three points from one win and two losses. (Joe Chapman)